Moshe Sokolow on Israel’s Endangered Ally, the Island Country of Palau
The recent UN General Assembly vote granting observer nation status to Palestine was 138 in favor, 41 abstentions, and nine opposed. In addition to the United States, along with Canada, Panama, and the Czech Republic, the few nations that supported Israel’s opposition to the resolution were Palau, Micronesia, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands. It would be tragic if Israel were to lose the vote of any of its few reliable supporters at the United Nations, but that is just what might happen over the next few years—not due to any political intrigue but on account of global warming! At the moment, the endangered ally is the island republic of Palau, and just this summer PBS aired a report, titled Paradise Lost, calling attention to the potential of climate change to inundate and eliminate Palau and its Pacific neighbors.
An archipelago of 300 islands lying in the Philippine Sea north of Australia, with a total area of only 459 square miles, or, one for every Palauan (Israel, by comparison, has 21,000 square miles), Palau more than makes up for its diminutive size with its consistent support of Israel in world forums. Although all of Palau cannot scrape up even a minyan (a quorum of 10 Jews), its ambassador to the United Nations since 2004, Stuart Beck, is Jewish, as is Larry Miller, who served for 14 years as an associate justice of Palau’s Supreme Court. Somehow, Palau also produced two cyclists who competed in the 2009 Maccabiah Games. Read the rest of this entry…